When I first went to Brighton, I came across Nest, a lovely, cosy spot in Brighton’s North Laines. Back then I wrote that Nest was the “sort of place that put the lounge into coffee lounge: a relaxed, chilled-out space where you could easily end up spending all day without quite meaning to”. On my return last month, I was wandering the Laines, as you do, when I thought to myself, “ooh, Nest should be down there”. So down I went, only to discover that Nest was no more and, in its place, was Jolliffes.
The good news, for those of you who liked the original Nest, is that not much has changed from the original concept. It’s still a great place to come and spend time, lounging around with your coffee and cake. The roaster has been changed, from Has Bean to the local Redroaster, but the cakes are still both locally-sourced and excellent.
I was there only three weeks after the new owners took charge, so expect a few more changes to the décor as they spruce things up, but as far as I’m aware, there are no plans for any radical changes.
You can see what I found after the gallery.
It turns out that Nest had been taken over by the folks behind Jolliffes, a successful coffee shop in Cowes on the Isle of Wight (the name, by the way, comes from the name of the store which occupied the building in Cowes where the coffee shop now is). I had a quick chat with the owner and it seemed to me that the aim was to create the sort of cosy, friendly, neighbourhood and, above all, social coffee shop that Nest had been when I first visited. Judging by the number of returning customers who popped in while I was there, Jolliffes seems to be off to great start.
On the layout front, it’s all very familiar. The large counter, which looks as if it’s been made from a giant Jenga set, is still on the left as you come in, with a bar opposite and the bulk of the seating at the back, next to the stairs (although the helpful coffee facts written on each step are no longer there). Upstairs remains a delightful, high-ceilinged room with roughly the same number of seats as downstairs.
I remember it being really cosy, but on my return it was a bit bare, having just been redecorated. However, don’t judge it by its appearance in the gallery; I’m sure it will be back to its previously cosy self in the no time. That said, it still looked a lovely spot to sit and drink coffee/eat cake, especially by the windows at front or back. Just as important, it’s still beautifully quiet up there, a really great spot to accidentally while away a whole day!
Naturally, I tried out the coffee (a flat white) and some of the lovely, locally-produced cakes. My flat white was good, the coffee being a slightly darker roast than I’m used to, but it went very well with the milk. The real joy, however, was with the cake, just as it had been on my first visit. This time I went for a most excellent chocolate and hazelnut sfogliatine pastry. This had a wonderful, crunchy pastry shell and a rich, creamy centre; the perfect accompaniment to my coffee.
If you want to see how things were, check out the original Nest Coffee Spot, which includes the complete write-up of the old Nest and the original gallery.
|35 KENSINGTON GARDENS • NORTH LAINES • BRIGHTON • BN1 4AL|
|Monday||10:00 – 17:00||Roaster||Redroaster (espresso only)|
|Tuesday||10:00 – 17:00||Seating||Tables, bar, bench outside|
|Wednesday||10:00 – 17:00||Food||Breakfast, lunch, cake|
|Thursday||10:00 – 17:00||Service||Order at counter|
|Friday||10:00 – 17:00||Cards||Visa, Mastercard (£0.25 under £10)|
|Saturday||10:00 – 17:30||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||10:00 – 17:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||Local||Visits||Original: 6th September 2013|
|Update: 31st March 2015|
If you enjoyed this Coffee Spot, check out the rest of Brighton and Hove’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Brighton & Hove.
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